Last night I finished the last of my big box of small toddler dolls. This one is Lucy, by Virga, dressed in an altered Vogue Ginny outfit. I don't know the name of the Ginny outfit, but it has a frayed and barely legible Medford Vogue tag.
As you all know, I'm not a collector. I don't care about amassing a bunch of certain dolls in each outfit. Dolls that don't need work bore me, in general. I do occasionally buy a well-priced doll I can quickly resell to keep my store inventory up, but for the most part I'm in this for the restoration, for the costume design.
I know some people really love the 50s doll outfits, however, and collect those more than the dolls themselves, and can identify each outfit by name and recount all its variations. For those of you whose passion is for the clothing or identifying mint dolls or figuring out which outfit a doll might have originally worn, a helpful reader has recommended the following books: The Muffie Puzzle by Roth/Maciak, Small dolls of the 40s & 50s by Stover & The Collectors Encyclopedia of Vogue Dolls by Izen /Stover. Unless I happen to pick up another huge toddler doll lot I doubt it would be worth the investment for me, but you never know. My husband laughs at me because a typical Friday night relaxation activity for me is reading about old dolls on various blogs!
Little Lucy had a slight crotch split and otherwise needed cleaning and re-stringing. Nothing major. Her paint is really good and bright, her mohair wig is thick and shiny, and her eyes and walker are working. I got her all fixed up and she was ready to dress.
As you can see, the dress received the greater part of time in this restoration. Originally the cotton skirt would have had alternating metallic gold, white, and purple stripes. The gold has largely rubbed off, leaving a green stripe underneath. The bodice was a loose weave linen-type mustard yellow cloth, and there was an attached metallic gold sash. Her panties matched the bodice. The bodice was shredded to the point it was almost completely gone. I couldn't even tell exactly what style it was. The skirt was also splitting apart. If I applied any pressure to the fabric it would just tear along the vertical grain.
To repair the dress as best I could, I added a new bodice made of gold satin ribbon. I thought a halter top dress would be cute for summer. I shirred the bodice and added a lavender glass bead embellishment. I made the halter ties from metallic flat braid. I preserved the original gold braid sash. I repaired the splits in the skirt. Many of these were right along the hem, so I sewed a band of gold braid all along the edge of the skirt to stabilize it and hide the tears. The skirt is still very fragile, so this is a display outfit only and should not be removed too often. The original panties are intact, though stiff and fragile.
I gave Lucy gold sandals, most likely vintage Madame Alexander pieces, and trimmed a vintage hat for her. This hat is tall and domed with a shallow brim. It's not quite a coolie hat, but it has a similar look. Those were so fashionable in the 1950s. Now Lucy really looks the part. She's ready to head for the beach! Lucy is heading to my store. I'll probably get her listed sometime tonight, so please check: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.
We are having unseasonably warm weather now, so I might head out for some summer fun today. I think I will go swimming while my youngest is at preschool. I have to drive the band carpool again tonight so I doubt I'll get a chance to walk.